Thursday, December 17, 2009


Here are a few new pots in process. I've been working in the downstairs studio of Donn Hedmans pottery near Smicksburg. Donn has graciously offered me space in his super nice studio with a beautiful view. I'm making plenty and bisquing work for future firings. Out at Brush Valley, I don't bisque, so I thought I would store away a few dozen pieces that I can take to other folks firings in the coming months.
As for this recent work, I've been trying to hold back on my urges to use the colored slips and linear decoration that I usually include in my work. I struggle to not over decorate forms such as these jugs. The shapes, hopefully, will stand alone.
I have return to this form over and over through the years. I have always been intereste in historic jugs and the change in their shapes that trace the development of the industrialization of clay manufacturing. The closer you get to the 1900's, the flatter and straighter the jug shapes become. The more graceful forms of previous centuries leave wasted space in a kiln where the bellies meet and can be difficult forms to make. The early American jug shapes reference their German and English counterparts, with full bellies, long graceful necks and and a narrow foot.
I am also searching for relevance in these forms in today's day and age. How do these jugs fit in to contemporary life? Well, maybe they don't and maybe that's EXACTLY why we need them. These simple containers echo a time of simplicity. Not necessarily an easier life, just different and simpler. I hope I'm not stuck in the past but I think those folks made some nice jugs.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays over the coming months...